Stoller Family Estate Reserve Winery Team
Harvest is the most critical time of year for our winemakers; this is the moment where everything comes together and creates that perfect bottle of wine. As the wines from the 2021 Harvest are barreled down to rest, Reserve Winemaker Kate Payne Brown and her production team give us a snapshot of the vintage, how it was made, and the harvest interns that made this year possible.
“As we approach a new harvest year, there is always speculation about how this year will compare to the ones that came before. I always find this practice interesting as each harvest truly is its own opportunity to create something new that reflects the vineyard and the unique growing season. This year was no exception. We started picking early in mid-August and continued to bring in fruit until the very last day of September. The warm growing season made for a very compressed harvest, but the quality of the fruit was incredible. I believe that the people behind the grapes and the wine contribute to the terroir and help shape each harvest. I see this harvest as a renaissance after the previous challenging harvest, and I am deeply grateful for all the hard word and teamwork from our vineyard and harvest crew.” ~ Winemaker, Kate Payne Brown.
“The 2021 vintage was fast and furious! Once we began to pick grapes for sparkling wine off the estate, we did not really see the light of day until the last fruit for History, Cabernet Sauvignon, came through the cellar door in early October. Fortunately, we had an excellent Harvest crew that rose to the challenge —a bit more akin to The Goonies than the Magnificent Seven. The team was upstate New York heavy with Kris and Jonathan bringing a ton of experience and leadership from the Finger Lakes and Hudson Valley wine regions respectively. Aitor came to us from the Colorado culinary and brew scene bringing one of the best attitudes I’ve ever encountered, not to mention one of the best-looking hats. Corrin rounded out the intern crew from the Portland art world. Never afraid to get her hands dirty, she hit the ground running from day one! We put in a lot of hours together and have some exceptionally beautiful wines to show for it. I would take another vintage and crew like 2021 any year! ~ Assistant Winemaker, Evan Rose
“In addition to the harvest interns, we were very excited to welcome Kevin the Cask into our family. He is a 20hL Foudre Oak Cask from France. He will become the home for our non-vintage sparkling wine reserve wine base. Each vintage, we will add a percentage of the new harvest to the reserve wine, which will continue to add complexity and character to our non-vintage sparkling wine.” ~ Cellar Master, Alex Arena
Without further ado, let’s meet the reserve interns !
“I’ve been working in wine for about six years; I recently moved to the Willamette Valley from New York to learn more and get familiar with Pinot Noir from start to finish. If I could have a wine tasting with anyone, it would probably be novelist Stephen King.” ~ Jonathan
“I decided to join the harvest team at Stoller because I needed a change from the working in luxury furniture sales. Since this is my first harvest, I appreciated the opportunity to have a new experience with people and learn a new art/process of winemaking.” ~ Corrin
“I learned about Stoller’s harvest internship through a friend, he told me about the opportunity, and I decided to try it out and have loved my time here. If i could have a wine tasting with anyone, I would have to choose Panamanian musician, Ruben Blades.” ~ Aitor
“I have been working in the wine industry for 18 years I have always wanted to work in the Willamette Valley. Life just worked out for me to be here this harvest. My favorite thing about harvest was to work with such a great team and work with the best fruit I have ever experienced.” ~ Kris